Rainfall-runoff data from three watersheds were selected for calibration and verification of the U.S. Geological Survey's Distributed Routing Rainfall-Runoff Model. The watersheds chosen are residentially developed. The conceptually based model uses an optimization process that adjusts selected parameters to achieve the best fit between measured and simulated runoff volumes and peak discharges. Three of these optimization parameters represent soil-moisture conditions, three represent infiltration, and one accounts for effective impervious area. Each watershed modeled was divided into overland-flow segments and channel segments. The overland-flow segments were further subdivided to reflect pervious and impervious areas. Each overland-flow and channel segment was assigned representative values of area, slope, percentage of imperviousness, and roughness coefficients. Rainfall-runoff data for each watershed were separated into two sets for use in calibration and verification. For model calibration, seven input parameters were optimized to attain a best fit of the data. For model verification, parameter values were set using values from model calibration. The standard error of estimate for calibration of runoff volumes ranged from 19 to 34 percent, and for peak discharge calibration ranged from 27 to 44 percent. The standard error of estimate for verification of runoff volumes ranged from 26 to 31 percent, and for peak discharge verification ranged from 31 to 43 percent.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Computer simulation of storm runoff for three watersheds in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Water-Resources Investigations Report
U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Division, [New Mexico District] ;
Can be purchased from U.S. Geological Survey, Earth Science Information Center, Open-File Reports Section,